Another new magazine, Map Literary “is dedicated to celebrating quality works of new literature. Rather than aligning with any one aesthetic, we aspire to promote the finest provocative writing of our time.”
Beth Couture’s “Excerpts from Women Born with Fur: A Biography,” containing several forms such as definitions and letters, tells the tale of Mary, a woman covered entirely in fur. As a child, she reads the story of Julia, another woman with fur whose dead body has been preserved in an unknown museum. Leaving a family that doesn’t seem to care for her anywhere, Mary spends all of her time with “the giant,” to whom she whispers “I love you” to him so often until she "doesn’t know what the words mean anymore; she just likes the sounds and the way they feel on her tongue.” But the whole time, her journey is really about locating Julia’s body:
It is time. Mary has been in contact with the curator of a museum in Norway, and Julia is there. When she tells the giant she’s found her, he kisses her and says “of course you have” like he always believed she would. They makes plane reservations for the trip to Oslo, and the giant says it can be their honeymoon, but Mary isn’t listening to him. Her body feels heavy now, and all she wants to do is sleep. She’s found Julia. She could have found her months ago, but she is almost glad she waited so long. Now that the time has finally come, she is terrified. What will she do with her? Why did she want her so badly in the first place?
Joanna Clapps Herman writes a flattering nonfiction piece about her father titled “Flesh, Bone, and Song,” using the image of his body, angled to one side with a bad shoulder from lifting I-beams, to tell of his strength, both physically and emotionally:
These were our father’s bones. The list is there too–the slightly downward tilt of the right shoulder, showing all the heavy iron lifted over the long years of work, all I beams lifted, carried into place, all of the weight and wear that impacted his body, had impressed deep into his bones.
It was that tilt that made my sister and I weep when we saw our father’s bones laid bare. Here was the frame, the understructure, his very architecture, the deepest delineation, a profound depiction of him. His bones laid long.
Poetry in this issue comes from J. Mae Barizo, Tina Brown Celona, Julia Cohen, Jimmie Cumbie, Les Gottesman, Edward Mayes, Jamie Quatro, Andrew Seguin, D. E. Steward, Jon Thompson, Sam White, and George Witte.
Though at times it was hard to determine the line breaks, I really appreciated being able to view this issue on my phone with Map Literary’s mobile-responsive site; reading it was a pleasure.